Black women have continuously enlivened American dance as company directors, designers, choreographers, performers, critics, and scholars. This presentation will trace some genealogies of black women's presence in American dance to underscore the radical potentials that these artists have enabled for us all. The radical legacies of dance artists Pearl Primus, Katherine Dunham, and Edna Guy will be discussed in relation to achievements and interventions by latter-day artists including Dianne McIntyre, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Bebe Miller, and company directors Jeraldyne Blunden and Joan Myers Brown. This presentation will trace some genealogies of Black women's presence in American dance including radical dance legacies discussed in relation to latter- day artists and company directors.
Cowles Visiting Scholar Thomas Defrantz is Professor of Music and Theater Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004), and directs the research performance group SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology in residence at MIT. He has taught at Yale, Stanford, Hampshire College, NYU, and the Alvin Ailey School, and acted as Director of the MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies.
Barker Center for Dance, Studio 100
500 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455
"Continuously Rich: Black Women in Cultural Production" has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius and the University of Minnesota Dance Program Cowles Land Grant Chair Visiting Artist and Scholar Fund.